New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso certainly was a Top-100 prospect entering the 2019 baseball season, but he wasn't considered a can't-miss guy like, say, Bryce Harper or Kris Bryant were. To say Alonso exceeded expectations is a massive understatement as he led the major leagues with a franchise-record 53 home runs in winning NL Rookie of the Year honors. Alonso is a +1000 favorite on the moneyline odds at William Hill sportsbook to win the MLB home-run title again in the 60-game shortened campaign.
Alonso, who was far from a lock to make the Mets' 2019 Opening Day roster, won the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game and broke the MLB rookie single-season home-run record set by the Yankees' Aaron Judge (52) in 2017. Alonso's 118.3-mph home run he hit April 11 in Atlanta was tied for the second hardest-hit ball tracked by Statcast in 2019.
The 53 dingers shattered the Mets' single-season franchise record, which had been 41 by Todd Hundley in 1996 and Carlos Beltran in 2006. Of course, Beltran was the Mets' manager briefly this offseason before resigning in the wake of the Astros' sign-stealing scandal in which he was implicated.
No Mets hitter previously had won the MLB home-run title and none have ever repeated as the NL home-run king. The other Mets to lead the Senior Circuit were Howard Johnson in 1991, Darryl Strawberry in 1988 and Dave Kingman in 1982.
Only two players this century have won back-to-back MLB home-run titles: Jose Bautista in 2010-11 and Alex Rodriguez in 2002-03 (tied with Jim Thome in 2003). Alonso's 53 dingers last year in his 161 games would equate to 19.7 over 60 games. SportsLine fantasy expert Ariel Cohen projects Alonso to hit 16.
Judge, fellow Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton, the Angels' Mike Trout, Rangers' Joey Gallo and Dodgers' Cody Bellinger are all +1200 second-favorites on the MLB odds to win the HR title. The 60-game season is scheduled to start on July 23.
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